Ever wonder what a 19th century tavern room was really like?
Wonder no more. The Greenbrier Historical Society’s latest exhibit is a recreation of the Tavern Room from Frazer’s Star Hotel, right in the hostelry’s home, the North House Museum in Lewisburg.
The exhibit will open with an event from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 16, featuring live music by the local folk band Ma’am and plenty of tavern refreshments, including cider from Hawk Knob Cidery and beer from the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company.
James Frazer purchased the North House in 1836, seeing it as an ideal location for his hotel, according to a news release from the Historical Society.
Frazer had earlier purchased the adjacent lot, where he built the Greenbrier County Court Library in 1834. The Star Hotel was popular among traveling judges and lawyers who appreciated the convenience of doing their research next door at the library.
In creating the Star Hotel, Frazer more than doubled the size of the North House by adding on two additional wings of rooms for guests, along with various outbuildings, the release describes.
It continues with an 1854 description of the property that reveals it included two good cellars, an orchard, a vegetable garden, a 50-horse stable, and outbuildings comprising cabins for (enslaved) servants, kitchens, a meat house and a dairy. The hotel operated until Frazer’s death in 1854.
The recreation of the Tavern Room will serve as an educational period room and an event space. Visitors are invited to learn from the exhibit about the history of the Frazer family, the enslaved presence at the Star Hotel and the role of hotels and resorts in the mid-1800s.
The Star Hotel Tavern Room Opening will also be Executive Director Nora Venezky’s final event and exhibit at the Greenbrier Historical Society, she posted on social media July 1. Having served in that capacity in Lewisburg for 2 1/2 years, Venezky is leaving to accept a position as the executive director of the Seneca Falls Heritage and Tourism Center and the Museum of Waterways and Industry in Seneca Falls, New York.
For more information about the exhibit’s opening or the history of the Frazer family, visit the Historical Society’s website at www.greenbrierhistorical.org. Located at 814 Washington St., West, in downtown Lewisburg, the museum is open Monday through Saturday for tours and, by appointment, for research in the GHS’s archives.
— Email: talvey@